THE hotly anticipated August 3 super-welterweight showdown between Tim Tszyu and Vergil Ortiz Jr is off.

Tszyu, who resembled a scene from a horror film after his bout against Sebastian Fundora on March 30, cannot compete due to the horrendous cut suffered against the 6ft 5ins Californian. The injury added to Tszyu’s misery, having lost his WBO 154lbs strap on a split decision. Fox Sports Australia boxing commentator Ben Damon tweeted earlier today (May 31) that the cut hasn’t healed in time and Tszyu cannot spar for the next six weeks, taking him up to the second week in July.

The news comes as a blow to Tszyu who – after losing to Fundora – was offered the chance to get back into a big fight on August 3 against Ortiz Jr at the BMO Stadium in Los Angeles. Terence Crawford will challenge Israil Madrimov for the Kazakh’s WBA super-welterweight title in the main event featuring a supporting cast of Andy Ruiz, Isaac Cruz, David Morrell and Andy Cruz. The Tszyu-Ortiz Jr bout was a sure-fire crowd pleaser and potential Fight of the Year candidate but will now have to take place at another time, much to the chagrin of fight fans.

Ortiz Jr, who had a number of fight dates against Eimantas Stanionis fall through in 2023, could still feature on Turki Alalshik’s first American promotion. ESPN has reported that the unbeaten 26-year-old may face Ukrainian Serhii Bohachuk instead. Bohachuk put himself into world title contention on the Tszyu-Fundora card by beating Brian Mendoza emphatically to become the WBC Interim belt holder.

The super-welterweight division as a whole is continuing to evolve as one of the toughest divisions in the sport. Recent stateside reports suggest that the new unified champion, Sebastian Fundora, could face former multiple welterweight titleholder Errol Spence in the second half of 2024. Spence has been out of the ring since his heavy defeat to Terence Crawford in July 2023 when ‘Bud’ became the undisputed welterweight champion after stopping his great rival in the ninth round.